Yesterday was Valentine's Day, a perfect day for romantic movies. I'm sure many couples went out to see "New York, I Love You", the second installment in the "Cities of Love" series, or rented a DVD of the first installment, 2006's "Paris, je t'aime". Each film is an anthology of several love stories from different neighborhoods of the city in the title.
I have not seen either film, nor do I intend to do so. The only reason I'm interested in this series is the odd news that one of the next films will be "Jerusalem, I Love You", with segments directed by American, Israeli and international directors. Jerusalem? Really?
Paris made sense as the first city in the series. After all, it is the City of Love, and considered the most romantic city in the world. New York is also the location of many a love story. Rio, one of the future installments is quite exotic. But Jerusalem?
I do not associate Jerusalem with romance. The only famous Jerusalem love story I can think of is David and Bathsheba - you know, the one with the cheating, the murder of the cheated husband and the death of the bastard baby. Israel has much more romantic cities, like Tel-Aviv, Eilat or even Haifa. These are cities with beaches and quite a night life. In Haifa, there's also romantic natural scenery.
The only love I associate with Jerusalem is the love of God. The excessive love of God, that is. Fanatics spilling the blood of those who are of different religions or are their co-religionists but not devout enough in their own minds.
Oh, well. The creators of the short films about Jerusalemite romance will find something to write about. Romance happens in Jerusalem all the time, just like in any other city. And the movie has one good thing going for it: I'm sure Natalie Portman will appear in it, and maybe even direct a segment. After all, she directed a segment of "New York, I Love You", appeared in both the New York and Paris installments and was born in Jerusalem.
Oh, and one more thing in Jerusalem's defense: Another future installment in the series will be about Shanghai, a city I associate with romance even less than Jerusalem.